Japan’s iconic and historic temples and shrines draw millions of annual visitors. Now, travelers can spend the night in hundreds of these places for the first time.
The so-called temple stay, or Terahaku, is a new project that allows travelers to book temple overnights through an online database. The operations start July 18 and initially include 100 temples at launch. The list will include Mii-dera (also known as Onjo-ji Temple) near Japan’s largest lake, Biwa-Ko, in Shiga Prefecture. The project looks to add 1,000 temples in the next three years.
The program teamed up with Bookin.com and Airbnb to further offer booking opportunities in different languages.
A new lodging law that allows private accommodations throughout the country enabled Terahaku. It was previously only available in some areas.
Temple stays may include cultural experiences like meditation and tracing traditional Buddhist imagery, handmade copies of sutras and attending monk services.
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